Originally created 02/22/06

Pistons' stars top Hawks

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. - Richard Hamilton scored 24 points and Chauncey Billups had 19 points and 15 assists to lead the Detroit Pistons to a 97-87 win over the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday night.

In their first game since helping the Eastern Conference win the All-Star game, Detroit's four All-Stars each had a strong effort against Atlanta. Rasheed Wallace finished with 21 points and 12 rebounds, and Ben Wallace had nine points, 17 rebounds and five blocks. Even Tayshaun Prince, the only Detroit starter to miss the trip to Houston, scored 14.

The Hawks were trying to join Utah as the only teams with multiple wins over the Pistons this season, but couldn't pick up their sixth win in nine games. Al Harrington led Atlanta with 20 points and Josh Childress added 18.

Detroit led by only two at the half, but took control in the third quarter. Hamilton scored 12 points in the period, and Billups hit his second buzzer-beating jumper of the game to put Detroit up, 74-63.

Detroit led by as many as 19 in the fourth, despite getting only 10 points from its bench in the game.


In Cleveland, LeBron James rebounded from a poor-shooting first half and finished with 26 points to lead Cleveland to a victory.

James made six consecutive shots late until missing a meaningless attempt in the final seconds of Cleveland's third straight win.

Dwight Howard had 23 points and 14 rebounds for the Magic, which lost its seventh straight and 11th of 12. Orlando plays six of its next eight games on the road.


In Indianapolis, rookie Danny Granger scored a career-high 22 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to lead Indiana to its sixth victory in seven games.

Anthony Johnson scored 19 points and Peja Stojakovic added 16 and nine rebounds for the Pacers.

Rookie guard Chris Paul led the Hornets with 27 points and six assists. He shot 8-for-15 from the field.


In Washington, Gilbert Arenas had 34 points to lead Washington to a victory over Minnesota .

Arenas, who also had five rebounds and five assists, scored 30 or more points for the 25th time this season.

TICKETS FOR GUNS: The Philadelphia 76ers and police officials Tuesday announced a program aimed at curbing gun violence by exchanging tickets for guns.

The one-week program opens today. Anyone can bring a working gun into a city police station and exchange it for a voucher good for a pair of tickets to an upcoming 76ers game, no questions asked.


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